Roma's first big move of transfer deadline day is a departure, and a rather depressing one at that. With several hours remaining before the transfer window slams shut, it seems as though Roma has reached an accord with Inter Milan that would see Adem Ljajic move northwards to reunite with Stevan Jovetic at Inter.
While we await some actual published verification of this rumor—its being reported live on Sky at the moment—we'll run with what we do know. Based on these reports and internet chatter, Ljajic will move to the San Siro on an initial €2 million loan with a mandatory option to buy set at €9 million. So, when all is said and done, Roma recoups the €11 million they spent on Ljajic a couple summers ago.
However, that's not the worrying part. As we discussed several weeks ago, Ljajic is a tremendous, tremendous talent who, while perhaps not 100% perfect for Rudi Garcia's tactics, may have been the perfect bridge for the post-Totti Roma. I went so far as to call him Roma's Most Important Asset. Of course, the counter to that is that we may already be seeing that transition occur before our very eyes, but the fact remains that Ljajic is an absurdly talented kid who can fill so many roles within an offense, so to see that go to waste because Garcia couldn't find a proper role for him is a shame.
The second and equaling troubling aspect of this move is that Walter Sabatini has, once again, directly aided a chief rival. After selling Alessio Romagnoli and Andrea Bertolacci to AC Milan, Roma has gifted Ljajic to Inter, where he'll join an already potent and dynamic attack that features Jovetic, Ivan Perisic and Mauro Icardi. He could've just saved some face and squeaked out a couple million in profit, but nope, Roma broke even and now Inter has perhaps the league's most intriguing attack, certainly one that will trouble Roma's woefully thing backline.
And don't even get me started about Victor Ibarbo and Gervinho, to think that there presence precipitated this move is appalling. When you have a player as talented as Ljajic, you find ways to integrate him into the lineup, you don't sacrifice him for spare parts.
So, with four and a half hours remaining, we'll have to see what else Sabatini has up his sleeve. Was this just the first fallen domino in Roma's pursuit of Erik Lamela? Was is a quick injection of cash to purchase Bruno Peres.
We'll see....tick tock, tick tock.